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Chaos in the veggie planter

Its not complete chaos but the euphoria of fast growing veggies of two weeks ago is over and has been replaced by fear-of-failure. Not all is hunkey dorey in the veggie planter – my Strawberry plant is looking terrible, covered in what I suspect to be powdery mildew as well as something that looks like ‘burnt leaf ends’. The actual strawberries looks terrible. The cauliflower have been invaded by two different bug types – the first one appeared a week ago which prompted me to use a garlic / soap spray on them which got rid of that batch of critters to be replaced with different ones which took up residence on the cauliflower plants two days later. And that’s just whats happening in the first basin …

Fortunately that is the worst of it – all the rest are doing really well. Some overcrowding happening which I expected as I soon realised I had planted too much in the space I have which I will be sorting out next week as soon as we have he new bed “vegetable bed” ready for planting. (will show before, during and after photos when its done – am having a tree moved to allow more sun into one of my beds so we can convert it to a vegetable bed).

Here is my “Veggie bed photo report” … (click to enlarge)

[one_half]Overall chaosVeggie Planter[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Strawberry plant looking badPoor strawberry plant[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Sad StrawberriesSad Strawberries[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Living on my Cauliflower plantsLiving on the cauliflower[/one_half_last]

[one_half]The good newsPeppers looking good[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Cos lettuce looking goodLovely looking Cos lettuce[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Wonderful spinachLovely looking spinach[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Pretty TomatosLovely tomatos[/one_half_last]

So my question is … what to do with the Strawberry? The cauliflower I am guessing requires more spraying against bugs. I’ll use the home-made garlic / basil / soap spray. The rest … everything looks really great but they need to be separated out so they have more space to grow. Right?

By Christine

Dominated by large trees on a medium sized property, my garden is very shaded. With no “full sun” areas I have to plant shade and partial shade loving plants. I love shrubs and flowers including camellias and azaleas but Roses and Irises are my favourite and getting these to thrive is a challenge …

6 replies on “Chaos in the veggie planter”

Hi Christine
I am very interested in your ‘garlic/basil’ spray as I am a “very’ new gardener and know absolutely nothing!!!!
could you tell me what the mixture is and is it boiled or just soaked, cut, crushed or mushed any help would be appreciated!!!

Hi Tracey

You can make the mixture in a number of ways – either get some organic insect spray from a nursery (Ludwigs & Margaret Roberts are both garlic based and work fantastically, are totally organic and won’t hurt the beneficial insects like butterflies & bees and of course, your pets!). Mix it up according to instructions and use a spray bottle to spray the affected leaves. If it is on your lemon trees, I recommend physically washing every single leaf to remove all the buggies – both Barbie and I did this – it is WELL worth the effort – you’ll have lovely healthy lemon trees within a very short time (like as quickly as 2 weeks – mine has a lot of new growth now and is looking so much better).

OR, make your own mixture …

Barbie posted a recipe for her one here: “Basic Organic Insecticide“. She uses just soap and basil – I swear by the addition of garlic though. it really repels all the bugs. you can boild up some garlic, strain it and add the mix to your spray bottle. its also useful to plant nasturtiums and mint below your lemon trees – this repels stops the bugs attacking your lemon trees. (and basil apparantly).

let me know how your lemon trees do!!!

Overcrowding is something I battle every year — I always plant too much in too small a space. If you do this, it’s important to make sure they’re getting enough nutrients and water — you may need to fertilize (with an organic!) a bit more often. Don’t go crazy with the fertilizer though, although it’s harder to cause damage with organics.

Depending on the type of plant and how densely they’re planted, you can “thin” them out by removing some plants. This works nicely for lettuces for instance, because you can eat the plants at any time.

Hi Alan – Thanks for this – its reassuring to hear that even experienced gardeners sometimes “overcrowd”. The lettuces are the most overcrowded, and actually, they look like the best lettuces I’ve ever seen, so I am picking the leaves already (and they taste fabulous). I’ll keep picking and thin them that way. Thanks so much, You are so sweet to share your experience knowledge with us. I really appreciate all your advice!

I am fertilising with an organic seaweed / kelp type fertiliser. I’m not keen to use anything non-organic on something we will eat.

Powdery mildew on your strawberries can be controlled my blasting it of with water in the morning – not in the afternoon so that they get a chance to get dry before evening comes. The burnt leaf ends seem like a symptom of water and heat stress combined. There’s nothing you can do to fix the leaves that are already damaged but you can prevent further damage.

No need to fear…these are all normal in a normal garden. 🙂

Hi Helen – Thanks for reassuring me. I feel better now knowing that this is normal. I do think the Strawberry is getting too much heat where it is and plan to replant it. Hopefully it will survive and thrive 🙂

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